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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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422
CHAPTER X.
THE death of Humboldt's wife made a great change
in his studies, but it was a fortunate circumstance that
many occupations and diversions conduced to fill up
and enliven his leisure hours. This was the more ne-
cessary., as Alexander left Berlin a few weeks after
the death, to undertake Ms last long journey to the
TJral mountains, and did not return till the end of the
year.
.Among the occupations which employed "William
von Humboldt at this period, was the share which he
was commissioned to take in the magnificent founda-
tion of the new museum. The king, in May, 1829,
appointed him the president of a commission which
was to take charge of the interior arrangements in
this new institution, a choice which was umveipilly
received with favour and approbation. IB. .Biexjio, it
cafised especial satisfaction,, because it was believed
that the honoured statesman would  thereby be more
induced to mix with the higher circles of society
than it seemed probable lie would do after Ms severe
loss.
This cominissiion consisted of the first artists and
connoisseurs in Berlin, of Sehinkel, the architect of
the museum, of the sculptors Ranch and Tieck, the
painter Wach, the councillor Hirt, and the subsequent
director of the gallery of paintings, Dr. "Waagen.
With most of these men, Humboldt had been long-
acquainted, and was connected with some of them in
direction of the Art Union. He was ooa very